Council to ‘get shot’ of on-street parking enforcement

North Devon Council is ready to hand back the on-street parking enforcement service to Devon County

North Devon Council is ready to hand back the on-street parking enforcement service to Devon County Council. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

District will hand back ‘poisoned chalice’ to county if new offer is not forthcoming.

NORTH Devon Council says it is ready to give up the ‘poisoned chalice’ of running on-street parking enforcement in the district.

The district council has run the service on behalf of Devon County Council since 2008 after the Government transferred parking powers from the police to local councils.

But the district has now rejected an offer from the county to continue running the service next year.

District council leader Brian Greenslade said: “There is nothing really in it for North Devon Council although if other offers are put to us by the county we’d be happy to consider them.

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“We’ve got plenty of other things to do with our money at the moment.

“As I understand it, practically every district council in Devon has told the county council they don’t like the revised offer.

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“The consultation was driven by the county council to reduce spending and I suspect the county will enforce the service themselves or take it out to the private sector.”

An executive report said the proposal from the county posed ‘unreasonable’ financial and reputational costs and risks to the authority.

If a revised offer is not forthcoming by the end of the month, the district council will cease on-street parking enforcement in April next year. The district council will only enforce off-street parking, such as in car parks.

Deputy leader Rodney Cann said: “I predicted it would cost us money and it has done over the years. We’ve shown good faith and taken it on but it has been a poisoned chalice.

“The county council is looking to pass the bill onto the district council but we’ve got to find £2million over the next few years and the benefits to us are minimal.

“We get all the blame from the public – either we don’t provide enough enforcement or we provide too much.

“The whole thing has been a failure. We were reluctant to take it on in the first place and we’ll be glad to be shot of it.”

Devon County Council said it was looking to restructure its Civil Parking Enforcement in order to reduce the £795,000 a year deficit.

A spokesman said: “Our preference is to work in partnership with the district councils and we have put forward new delivery proposals to all of them.

“We are awaiting a formal response from North Devon Council but will consider its feedback in putting together recommendations to go before the Cabinet later this year.”

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